SIX BITS: Juniors in NFL, Henderson’s visit, Loeffler, Azzanni, Bell, Kiper’s Big Board

By Adam Silverstein
December 17, 2009

1 » According to Florida Gators strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti, the team’s liaison with the NFL, 8-10 juniors have submitted their paperwork for evaluation by the league’s Draft Advisory Board. One can assume those names include cornerback Joe Haden, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, tight end Aaron Hernandez, center Maurkice Pouncey and guard Mike Pouncey. Others who may have submitted their information include safeties Ahmad Black and Major Wright, defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh and offensive linemen Carl Johnson and Marcus Gilbert.

2 » Five-star offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson (St. Paul, MN), considered by many recruiting services to be the No. 1 overall recruit in the country, will be taking his official visit Gainesville, FL, this weekend. Henderson is also seriously considering the USC Trojans, Ohio State Buckeyes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

3 » Florida quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler, who has only been on the job one year in Gainesville, is considered a top candidate for the Central Michigan Chippewas and Buffalo Bulls head coaching jobs vacated by Butch Jones and Turner Gill, respectively. Some believe a year with next season’s starting quarterback John Brantley could earn Loeffler a much better gig just 12 months from now.

4 » Another name being thrown around the CMU job is brand new Gators wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, who joined the program one week ago after the departure of Billy Gonzales to the LSU Tigers. Suffice to say that Florida head coach Urban Meyer would be none to pleased to be forced to replace a second WR coach in a matter of days.

5 » Former Gators QB and current Jacksonville Dolphins head coach Kerwin Bell met with Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong on Wednesday about the Cardinals’ vacant offensive coordinator position. Though working with Strong could be considered a promotion of sorts, Bell may prefer being his own boss at Jacksonville. “Kerwin really likes running his own program and calling the shots,” his athletic director Alan Verlander told The Florida Times-Union. “Unless they throw a lot of money at him, I’m about 95 percent certain that he will be at JU next year.”

6 » ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s latest NFL Draft Big Board has been published and little has changed for Florida’s players. Dunlap crept up one spot from his season-low of No. 17 to No. 16, with Kiper saying his “physical tools are off the charts” and that he “has unlimited upside.” Also on the list are Haden, a “polished cover corner with tackling ability to match,” who held strong at No. 7, and Hernandez, who also popped up a spot to No. 18.. Kiper says Hernandez has “great hands and excellent run-after-catch skills for a TE.” Noticeably absent from the board for a third-straight week is senior middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, who last appeared at No. 25 on Nov. 18.


  1. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    Is it true Meyer offered the DC position to Bud Foster and he turned it down?

  2. No. Meyer, along with Jimbo Fisher and Mark Richt, all contacted him to see if he was interested in their respective DC jobs. Foster told them all he wanted to stay at VT. If anything, he was talking more intensely with Georgia, from what I hear.

  3. Aligator says:

    so the rumor about the former unlv coach was not true, maybe loeffler would leave and he can come in and take over the offensive coordinator position. he and addozzio do not seem like the right fit for their titles in this offense right now.

    out of all of those juniors, i can only realistically see maybe those first five going. thanks for all of the insight!

  4. Not necessarily. If I was hiring an OC, I would certainly interview more than one candidate.

  5. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    If we can get Henderson and Powell that would be awesome……I like our chances with Powell do we know more about Henderson and when he might make an announcement?

  6. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    On Kiper’s ranking of Dunlap just let him get to the combine and see if his stock does not rise once his measureables are recorded….I think he will go in the top 6 or 7 picks

  7. Powell, yes. I don’t think getting Henderson also is realistic. Powell should make an announcement soon – Henderson much later.

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